Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida
One of the states with the busiest roads in the world is Florida. The roadways are always busy with millions of vehicles, from commercial automobiles to personal cars. For this reason, it’s easy for you to commit certain traffic offenses. The worst of them that can see your license suspended is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The penalties for driving with a suspended license in Florida are grouped into three according to Florida Statutes section 322.34.
- The first penalty is a $500 fine or 60 days jail term. You get this punishment when you’re caught driving with a suspended license for the first time. You are guilty if you’re aware of the suspension, cancelation, or revocation and still drive.
- The penalty for the second time offense is up to 1 year jail term. This punishment is awarded when you are accused of a first-degree misdemeanor.
- You can get a $5,000 fine or 5 years in prison if you’re charged with a felony. If you commit this traffic offense the third time, you are guilty of this crime.
If you commit two offenses and a felony within five years, Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will brand you a Habitual Traffic Offender. This department will then revoke or suspend your driver’s license for 5 years.
Getting a hardship license is impossible once you are labelled as a Habitual traffic offender in this state. However, you can appeal and obtain it once a year elapses after the last charge.
Why Your Driver’s License Can Get Suspended in Florida
Your license may get revoked, canceled, or suspended in Florida for various reasons. The suspension lasts for a particular period depending on the seriousness of the offense. During this time, you cease to get any driving privileges until you are reinstated.
Here are the reasons why your driving license may be suspended in Florida:
a). Driving without a license
in Florida, driving without a license or with an invalid one is a serious crime. The charge for this offense is a second-degree misdemeanor. Therefore, your license will be suspended, and you will get two months jail term or a $500 fine.
b). Driving without insurance
it’s illegal to drive without insurance in Florida. Your license may be suspended if you drive without auto insurance or your vehicle is not insured.
c). DUI offense
Driving under the influence of any chemical substance or alcohol is a serious traffic violation under Florida Law. Your license is revoked the moment you plead guilty to this offense. You will be charged with misdemeanor if you commit the crime for the first and second time. Once you commit the same offense for the third time, you’ll be charged with a felony.
d). Failure to pay fines
As a driver, you may find yourself in a situation where you must pay court costs and fines. In Florida, your license may be suspended if you fail to pay these fines for a considerable period.
e). Failure to meet Financial Responsibilities
Financial responsibility payments are all settled outside the court. Pay them to avoid the suspension of your driving license. They may include;
- Refusal to pay child support
- Failure to pay parking tickets
- Failure to maintain automobile insurance
You get Financial Responsibility suspensions if you fail to pay for the above responsibilities.
f). Accumulation of points
The suspension lasts for 30 days if you have 12 points and 90 days if you have 18 points. If your points accumulate to 24 in three years, your license gets suspended for up to one year.
There are various options to get your license reinstated if it’s suspended for committing the above violations.
- Pay the total amount you owe to the government, court, and parking tickets.
- Start supporting your child as agreed and pay the dues.
- For a DUI-related violation, seek an ignition interlock device. In this case, the government will fit your car with a BAC-detecting device. With this gadget, the car will only start if you are sober.
- Request a hardship License.
If all the above options fail, hire a defense lawyer to help defend your rights and get reinstated.
Best Defenses for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida
Driving with a suspended or revoked license in Florida can land you serious problems. Don’t delay hiring a suspended license lawyer to avoid penalties like paying hefty fines or facing a jail term.
Working with an aggressive and experienced suspended license attorney will help reduce penalties or reinstate your suspension.
Note; for the state to prove that you are guilty of the crime, it must prove beyond reasonable doubt that;
- You were driving a car
- You knew your license was cancelled, revoked, or suspended
Hiring experienced Meltzer & Bell Attorneys will likely see your charges dismissed. Also, the lawyers might prove you were driving with a suspended license without knowledge.
The tactics or defenses that attorneys can use to help reduce your penalties or defeat the traffic violation charge include;
- Proving you were not driving a vehicle at the time of the arrest.
- Showing evidence that you didn’t know about the cancellation or suspension of your license.
- Verifying the accused is a victim of identity theft and that his license was given to officers by another person.
- Proving the driver was not driving on a busy road or highway.
- Attesting that your driver’s license suspension was reinstated by the time of the arrest.
- Proving the arresting officers stopped your vehicle illegally.
- Showing you were not driving a vehicle that needs a driving license.
- Provide evidence that you don’t have a valid driving license in Florida.
In case the above defenses are not possible in your case, lawyers will play a vital role in reducing the penalty. They may seek pleas with judges not to punish you with jail terms or hefty fines.
Find Suspended Driving License Lawyer Near Me
It can be stressful and frustrating to have a suspended driver’s license. This mess is troubling if you get accused of driving with a suspended license in Florida. It may hold you back from fulfilling your daily responsibilities. The problem can impact your life negatively.
However, with the help of a professional attorney, you may quickly get your freedom back or reduced penalties. Contact Meltzer & Bell today if you are accused of this offense, or your license is canceled, suspended, or revoked. Call us at (772) 248-1215 for a free consultation.